Remain calm. All is well -- even if Jackson County is behind on more than $2.5 million in stadium payments to the Kansas City Chiefs and Royals. County officials sound like Kevin Bacon's character, Chip Diller, in Animal House as they try to reassure us that the teams haven't threatened to move ... yet.
The Kansas City Star reported over the weekend that no one was concerned. We got vows that the county will never default on the bond payments used to pay for the latest round of renovations at Truman Sports Complex.
The problem is declining sales tax revenue, which is expected to drop to
$30.19 million this year, and revenues falling short of the annual debt service
bonds for the last two years. Officials expect revenue to go back up, and they're blowing off that there's a problem.
Speaking of problems, Kansas
City is apparently one, having only paid a quarter of the $2 million that it
pledged in 2010 (although the KC City Council is reportedly going to
approve installment plans for the rest sometime this month).
But if you're a worrier -- and who isn't in this city? -- here's something to
scare up your blood: The county's reserves were so low that it only paid
the teams half of their management fees. Also, when the Chiefs went to
dip in the maintenance/repairs fund, the county had to hold up payment:
"I was told today by Chiefs management that the last RMMOSpokespeople for the Chiefs and Royals don't sound at all concerned, likely because they
which was signed by me on 8/31/2010 ... was stopped," [Jim] Rowland,
[executive director of the Jackson County Sports Complex Authority],
wrote to [Calvin] Williford, [the county's director of intergovernmental
relations and communications], in an e-mail.
"Was someone going to let us know?"
Rowland confirmed last week that the county's hold on an RMMO payment
was the first he had ever seen.
have the county by the balls and know that they'll get their money.